I want to offer heartfelt and genuine gratitude to At-Large Tribal Council Representative Mary Baker Shaw, who will not be seeking re-election, for the faithfulness, dedication, and service that she has offered to our Cherokee people during her time of service on our Tribal Council. Council Person Shaw has forged a strong link in a chain that was begun long before us, and will continue long after we are gone. As an At-Large Cherokee whom she has represented, I am immeasurably grateful for her example, and for her service. As a candidate for the At-Large Tribal Council seat that she has held, I encourage you to join me in forging the next link in our chain together. Our 239,000 At-Large Cherokee Citizens are a wonderfully large and diverse group of people. Having lived my entire life outside of the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation, and a large portion of my life outside of the State of Oklahoma, I’m sensitive to who we are, and to the issues that impact our At-Large Citizens. If I am fortunate enough to earn your support, I will wholeheartedly commit to faithfully representing ALL of our At-Large citizens.
To that end, you can learn more about my platform below. As I’ve said, it is my goal to take ANOTHER step on a good road forged by other good leaders. We are all but one link in a chain that was forged long before we arrived and will continue long after we’re gone. Let’s forge our link in the chain as well as those who came before us forged theirs, so that those who come after us will have a strong foundation from which to continue.
- Increase the number and size of scholarships available to At-Large Citizens.
- Work with other state governments to introduce license plates for Cherokee Citizens within those states, the proceeds for which will go to fund scholarships for Cherokee citizens who reside within those states.
- Increase the prevalence of Cherokee language courses at academic institutions outside of Oklahoma.
- Create educational partnerships with Indian Education Programs (Title VII) to participate in offering cultural opportunities to Native American students.
- Change the manner in which we refer to “At-Large” citizens.
- Find cultural mentors who are willing to establish cultural ties in large population centers outside of OK for the purpose of initiating authentic cultural immersion opportunities.
- Begin a mentoring program that pairs Cherokee elders with younger people who are interested in learning more about our language and culture.
- Investigate the historic attempts to repatriate culturally significant sites (such as the New Echota State Park, currently operated by the State of Georgia).
- Open Embassies for At-Large citizens across the United States.
- Embassies would be staffed by an Ambassador, appointed by the Principal Chief.
- Each Embassy would include:
- A DHS Certified Childcare Center.
- An Outpatient Health Clinic.
- An Office of the Ambassador.
- An Election Polling Location for At-Large Cherokee Citizens.